Yesterday, Photo District News announced the PDN 30 for 2014 -- 30 new and emerging photographers to watch. I was delighted to see that Zun Lee, of my favorite photographers, made the list. His deeply moving, long-term documentary project on black fathers -- "Father Figure" -- is one of the most powerful series that I've seen years.
The PDN 30 announcement is always a big deal. Photo District News is the largest and most widely read photo magazine among professional photographers, editors, and curators. Making the list is an major honor and, not incidentally, a career boost. In Zun's case, it will help "Father Figure" reach the wider audience it deserves.
Here's how Zun describes "Father Figure."
Father Figure is my long-form photo project that challenges stereotypical notions of Black fatherhood. Since September 2011, I've embedded myself in the lives of African American fathers to dispel the common notion that most of them are absent from their children's lives or don't care about parenting. The work in progress has since been published by Burn Magazine, New York Times Lens Blog, Revista Photo Magazine, and other publications. Looking to publish as a photo book in 2014.
The video below is terrific. It will give you a sense of what Zun and his project are all about. As you'll see, his journey is both personal and sociological.